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Daily Dirt 04/21/2021 08:25:38

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October 4
Dixie Speedway,
Woodstock, GA
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (Dixie Shootout) - $10,000
Information provided by: Series reports (last updated October 5, 8:41 am)
Madden claims second straight Dixie Shootout
Dixie Shootout
  1. Chris Madden
  2. Dale McDowell
  3. Don O'Neal
  4. Steve Francis
  5. Jimmy Owens
  6. Jason Papich
  7. Randy Weaver
  8. John Blankenship
  9. Shane Clanton
  10. Casey Roberts
  11. Scott Bloomquist
  12. Earl Pearson Jr.
  13. Rick Eckert
  14. Ray Cook
  15. David Payne
  16. Eddie Carrier Jr.
  17. Shawn Chastain
  18. Eric Jacobsen
  19. Dennis Erb Jr.
  20. Clint Smith
  21. Austin Kirkpatrick
  22. Jared Landers
  23. Jason Hughes
  24. Frank Ingram
  25. Mike Marlar
  26. Brandon Overton
presented by
Kevin Prater/praterphoto.com
Chris Madden climbs atop his car in victory lane at Dixie.
What won the race: Fourth-starting Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., slipped past Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., in traffic on the 33rd lap and ran unchallenged over the remaining distance of the 50-lap Dixie Shootout for his second consecutive victory in the event.
Quotable: “To win this race two years in a row is great,” said Madden. “This is a brand new Sweet-Bloomquist car; it was like driving a Cadillac all night long."
On the move: Taking advantage on mid-race restarts, Lucas Oil Series points leader Don O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind., started ninth and finished third.
Winner's sponsors: Madden's Bloomquist Race Car is powered by a Clements Racing Engine with sponsorship from Century Plastics, Cushman Paint & Body, Henderson Amusement, Hamrick's of Gaffney and Penske Shocks.
Points chase: Following Saturday's action, O'Neal holds a 60-point lead (7,350-7,290) over three-time and reigning champion Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn.
Car count: 45
Fast qualifier: Scott Bloomquist
Time: 14.408 seconds
Polesitter: Scott Bloomquist
Heat race winners: Scott Bloomquist, Jimmy Owens, Dale McDowell, Chris Madden
Consolation race winners: Austin Kirkpatrick, Rick Eckert
Provisional starters: Eddie Carrier Jr., Jared Landers, Dennis Erb Jr., Jason Hughes
Next series race: October 5, Rome Speedway (Rome, GA) $10,000
Editor's note: Fixes lap on which Madden took the lead.
From series and staff reports

WOODSTOCK, Ga. (Oct. 4) — A familiar face gave Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., the break he needed to emerge victorious in Saturday night’s 24th annual 50-lap Lucas Oil Dixie Shootout at Dixie Speedway.

Given life after his chassis builder, Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., spun out of the lead on lap 15 while negotiating lapped traffic, Madden turned up the wick to pass Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., for the top spot on lap 33 and marched on to capture the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event for the second consecutive year.

Madden, 39, earned $10,000 for his second Lucas Oil Series triumph of 2014 and the seventh of his career. He beat McDowell of the finish line by nearly a full straightaway after gliding away from the pack following the race’s third and final caution flag on lap 43.

Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., padded his Lucas Oil Series points lead with a third-place finish after starting ninth, while eighth-starter Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., finished fourth and third-starter Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., placed fifth to fall 60 points behind O’Neal with two events remaining on the national tour’s 2014 schedule.

Madden, who started fourth, wore a big smile after reaching the checkered flag first but acknowledged that the 50-year-old Bloomquist would have been tough to beat.

“I hate that for Scott,” Madden said of Bloomquist, who started from the pole position after finish 11th after his spin forced him to restart at the rear of the field. “He’s been really good all year. He just got in lapped traffic there and I think a lapped car got into him and spun him around.

“Hat’s off to him for what he’s done for me and my racing career. He built me a new ride (Sweet-Bloomquist Race Car) to race with here at the end of the year. It’s been awesome. It feels like driving a Cadillac now. This thing is really unbelievable. I’m excited about getting to race the rest of the year in it and start off next year.

“We had a very good race car,” he added. “I don’t think we could’ve been much better.”

Racing in front of one of the largest crowds ever to witness the Dixie Shootout, Madden made his winning move by ducking inside of McDowell on the 33rd lap.

“We had a good race with Dale there for a while,” Madden said, “and he left the door open enough on the bottom heading into turn one and I was able to get the lead.”

The ultra-competitive Madden professed a sense of pride over winning the Dixie Shootout for the second consecutive year, but his ultra-competitive personality also didn’t let him forget one that got away.

“I can’t get that third one out of my mind,” said Madden, who lost a possible win in the 2012 Shootout to mechanical trouble. “We let that third one get away coming off of four there. We broke a center out of a wheel or it would’ve been three in a row … that would’ve really been awesome.”

McDowell, 48, fell short of his third career Dixie Shootout victory. Bloomquist’s departure had given him hope, but his Team Dillon Warrior Race Car wasn’t quite strong enough to outrun Madden.

“I thought it was gonna be my day … I thought I was getting a gift,” McDowell said of his mindset after he inherited the lead from Bloomquist. “But we got looser as the night went on. We’ve been struggling just a little bit in these conditions on hard tires, so we threw some stuff at the car tonight and made some gains but just got a little bit loose there.

“I think we missed it just a little bit, and as good as these guys cars … Chris had the best car. I may have held him off on open racetrack, but I wasn’t maneuverable in traffic like I needed to be.”

The 50-year-old O’Neal, meanwhile, recorded a podium finish that could prove critical in his bid for a first-ever Lucas Oil Series championship. Recovering from a disappointing qualifying effort that left him ninth on the starting grid, the driver of the Clint Bowyer Racing Barry Wright machine surged from sixth to third on a lap-33 restart and stayed there to the finish.

Among the drivers O’Neal passed on that key restart was Owens, who got together momentarily off turn four with Lucas Oil Series rookie Jason Papich of Arroyo Grande, Calif., and slipped high, opening the door for O’Neal to charge underneath down the homestretch.

“We got a break tonight,” said O’Neal. “I don’t know how I slipped by those cars. They were wrecking everywhere. I seen ‘em bunch up there and just lucky I wasn’t caught up in it.

“I’ll take it,” he addd. “We dug ourselves a hole qualifying and dug ourselves back out of it. That’s what counts.”

The race’s three caution flags were needed for Bloomquist (lap 15), Brandon Overton of Appling, Ga. (lap 33) and Frank Ingram of Woodstock, Ga. (lap 43).

Notes: Madden was triumphant for the eighth time overall this season, but it was his first $10,000-plus win since mid-March. He scored four five-figure checkered flags during the season’s first six weeks, including a Feb. 7 Lucas Oil Series win at Golden Isles Speedway in Brunswick, Ga. … Papich ran as high as fourth before settling for a career-best Lucas Oil Series finish of sixth. With two events remaining on the ’14 schedule — Oct. 5 at Rome (Ga.) Speedway and Oct. 17-18 at Portsmouth (Ohio) Raceway Park — he trails Jason Hughes of Watts, Okla., by just 80 points in the battle for the circuit’s Rookie of the Year honors. ... Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., piloted one of fellow Georgian Shane Clanton’s backup cars to a 20th-place finish. ... Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, Tenn., steered a Stacy Boles-owned Rocket Chassis after his recent departure from Blount Motorsports but failed to qualify.

Lucas Oil points

(Through Oct. 4)
1. Don O'Neal - 7,350
2. Jimmy Owens - 7,290
3. Scott Bloomquist - 7,060
4. Steve Francis - 6,650
5. Eddie Carrier Jr. - 6,300
6. Earl Pearson Jr. - 6,270
7. John Blankenship - 6,060
8. Jared Landers - 5,885
9. Dennis Erb Jr. - 5,645
10. Jason Hughes - 5,100
11. Jason Papich - 5,020

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